Saturday, 26 March 2016

Vogue 1353 Kay Unger dress, with cheery red flowers

So what do you do when you've just made a really big mess of your silk chiffon. Sew with woven cotton of course!
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In order to restore my shaken sewing self esteem, I made a very simple dress, from a purse soothing fabric I bought for $4 a metre in a Spotlight quilting fabric sale some years ago.
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 I think that I may have originally intended that this fabric be for an apron, but I needed cheering up, so red flowers were just the thing for a bit of mood lightening. The lining of the bodice is a lovely cotton repurposed from a Sheraton cotton pillow case that no longer has matching sheets. Naturally, with so little financial input and no sentiment at stake, this project went perfectly.

I carefully read Beth from Sunnygal Studio's detailed post about her construction of this dress, and benefited greatly from her FBA technique, which I slavishly copied (eliminate the dart in the princess seam, lengthen the centre piece of the bodice by the width of the dart), as this is much more speedy than my usual method of cut, pivot and slide. Thanks Beth! I agree with Beth that you really need a non fusible interfacing for the neckline pleats, and I used cotton organdie, wanting to keep the dress as cool to wear as possible.
(I note that although Beth was not overly impressed with her first version of the dress, she later made another one)

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Despite this FBA alteration, and a small square shoulder adjustment, I found the armscyes a little tight. My other, normal for Vogue, alterations were to narrow the waist and to narrow the centre back, otherwise this fit rather nicely if I do say so myself. I do love a nice full skirt, it saves so much work on alterations :). Unfortunately, the pleats in the skirt did not meet the darts or seam lines in the bodice in the size I made without considerable tweaking, but in a print, this is not terribly noticeable, just a drafting hiccup that is unfortunately common in big 4 patterns. You may be able to see that I was not terribly dedicated with my tweaking.....
My other construction alteration was to use the outer pattern pieces for the lining, gathering instead of pleating the neckline.
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My reason for doing this was pure laziness. I did not want to make another FBA on the darted lining front, particularly as would have to use a different alteration method, which would put me at risk of enlarging the lining a different amount to the outer bodice. I was not keen for this possibility of giving myself an interesting engineering problem.

I emphasised the pleasing neckline with minipiping, and also used this on the armscyes, after trimming off a little seam allowance.

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Outcome: A very useful, cheery dress for late summer into autumn, perfect for our warm climate and very good for the sewing mojo.
In fact I liked this pattern so much that I straight away made another dress from it. I'll post about that another time.

12 comments:

Summer Flies said...

Lovely. Of course, when there is nothing at stake it works perfectly. I've always loved this dress pattern. It certainly is cheery! So glad you feel restored!

Sox said...

That is a lovely dress and the colours suit you so well.
I also have this dress pattern but have not read such good reviews of it. Thank you for the reference to Beth's tips and for noting what you did for the lining. I'll feel more confident when I make one.

Jos said...

Great you have your mojo back, love your dress!!

Diana said...

Lovely little dress that fits you perfectly as usual ! I think I'm in the middle of making a wadder right now and I don't have the sense to give up ! Lol!

Vicki said...

Very pretty! The red piping is a lovely finish.

colesworth said...

Definitely cheery, especially with the piping. Great neckline on this pattern.

Sharon said...

Lovely summery dress and so glad the mojo is back.

Sew, Jean Margaret said...

Lovely dress and you have achieved an excellent fit. The red piping is a great detail.

Mary Nanna said...

wow - you look so lovely - that dress shows off your wonderful figure so beautifully - definitely a pattern to flog!

Paola said...

Great antidote to the silk wadder. You just have to love sewing cotton don't you?

liza jane said...

The fit looks perfect! And isn't that always the case? The things I make with the lowest expectations always turn out the best.

Gail said...

Your dress is so beautifully constructed. Don't you love it when a cheap fabric can be made to look a million dollars.